Welcome to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Developmental Disabilities
DES provides supports and services to over 35,000 people with developmental disabilities and their families throughout Arizona. The following is a brief introduction to these services, along with a summary of some of our recent accomplishments.
DES strives to support the choices of individuals with disabilities and their families by promoting and providing flexible, quality, member-driven services and supports within communities. We value our community connections and emphasis on looking at a person’s strengths and gifts.
Most services to children and adults with developmental disabilities are delivered in the family’s or person’s own home as well as their community. Services are provided based on each person’s identified needs, state and/or federal guidelines and, when applicable, the availability of funds. Services are authorized and monitored by a support coordinator (case manager). The support coordinator promotes access to community resources and flexibility in meeting the person’s needs. While some services are delivered directly by the State, most services are delivered through a large network of individual and agency contracted providers.
Services are provided throughout the lifespan of an eligible member. For children under the age of three who have certain developmental delays, the DES Division of Developmental Disabilities works in partnership with the DES Arizona Early Intervention Program (AZEIP) and community agencies to provide early intervention services for these children and their families. Early intervention services help young children grow and develop as well as support their families.
During the school years, services for children and young adults may include specific skills training, behavioral health services, assistance with daily life activities, assistance with transition from school to work or respite (caregiver relief). For adult members, supports may include training to get and keep a job, structured day time activities, in home assistance with daily life activities and other skills training.
Out of home residential placements are also available for children and adults, if needed. Acute care health plans are provided to most members.
- DES continues to be a leader in the country for providing services to members and families in their home and community. About 99% of the more than 35,000 individuals enrolled in the DES Developmental Disabilities program live in their own homes and communities rather than in institutional settings.
- Self advocates with disabilities made Arizona one of the first states in the nation to discontinue use of the term “mental retardation” by promoting legislation that replaced the term with “cognitive disability” in state statutes related to individuals with developmental disabilities.
- DES believes in connecting with community partners. We support Human Rights Committees, family groups throughout the state, a self determination council and always looks for ways to include families, people with disabilities, providers and other community stakeholders as integral members and contributors to improve services and supports.
Thank you for visiting the DES Division of Developmental Disabilities’ Web site. We hope that the information provided here will be helpful to you. We encourage your feedback. We look forward to continued partnership with people with disabilities, families, advocates, providers and other community partners.